Seniors frustrated over continued water restrictions due to legionnaires' disease
Water restrictions are still in place at a Dartmouth seniors’ apartment building where there was an outbreak of legionnaires’ disease.
A new water treatment unit was installed nearly three weeks ago, but management of Alderney Manor say they ran into some technical difficulties, and have been waiting for a final piece for the system.
The piece arrived this week, and government is hoping the water restrictions will soon be lifted.
Art Wamback has called Alderney Manor home since 1999.
He says he’s frustrated with the ongoing water restrictions and just wants things back to normal.
“I think everybody just takes their times and makes as much money as possible,” he says, “that’s what it seems like, like a bunch of bull to me.”
Residents have been asked not to shower, and have been provided bottled water since an outbreak of legionnaires’ was confirmed early in September.
Five residents were diagnosed with the disease.
A 78-year-old woman died last month after being hospitalized in August.
“The water treatment unit was installed on September 28,” explains Lori Errington of Nova Scotia Community Services Communications. “They ran into some technical issues with one of the monitoring components, so they had to go to the vendor and install a new piece of equipment which was done on Tuesday, the 13 of October.”
The same day a letter was sent out informing residents of the situation, the first update in nearly three weeks.
The letter indicated the water restrictions remained in place until testing was done.
“The testing was done this week,” adds Errington. “So it’s a matter we’re hoping we’re near the end.”
Until then that means no showering.
Residents are being told they can go up the hill to the Dartmouth Sportsplex and use the showers for free.
“Isn’t that ridiculous,” says Wamback. “I mean, my God, what little old lady of 85 wants to go up and get naked in front of a bunch of kids.”
Wamback says he won’t do that either.
He is taking advantage of the bottled water being offered, although health officials have said the water is fine to drink and to wash dishes.
“This just seems to be going on and on and on,” says NDP MLA Marian Mancini.
She says she hasn’t been able to get information and has heard from residents who feel the same.
“They continue to be in the exact situation they were in in early September when this first emerged,” she adds.
Lori Errington says staff have put a priority on communicating with residents since the beginning of the situation.
“It has been a long time, people have been inconvenienced for a very long time, and we recognize that,” Errington says. “We do thank them for their patience.”
Art Wamback says his patience is wearing thin.
“I wish the hell they’d do something about it,” he says. “Because I’d like to be able to hop in the shower when I want to shower, I’d like to be able to get water out of the tap when I want it.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jacqueline Foster.